The Westmount Lookout

A few Fridays ago I took an afternoon off work to chill, but what kind of activity would be considered chill-worthy? Marilou suggested that we go and explore Westmount. In spite of having lived in Westmount for a year, I hadn’t investigated it in any great depth. I thought we could go and see what’s at the tip of the western peak of the mountain.
I had to make my way to Villa-Maria Metro station from my office, which involved a trip on both the Green and Orange lines. Conveniently, the interchange station along the way provides a cafe.
Enjoying an espresso from the cafe in Lionel-Groulx Metro station as I wait for my train connection.
At Villa-Maria Metro.

Westmount is an interesting place. Even though it sits on the island of Montreal (nestled at the foot of Mont Royal’s Western slope, hence its name), it’s technically not part of the City of Montreal. Rather, it’s a town in its own right.

You only have to visit to realise how different Westmount is from the metropolis that surrounds it. The roads wind and curve, rather than form a familiar lattice of right angles that is the familiar layout of Canadian cities. The style of the buildings are distinctly, well, English. In this sense, the architecture reflects the language of its inhabitants.

The mountain that sits in the centre of Montreal has two well known viewing points. The best known is on the south of the mountain overlooking the city centre. The other is on the East of the mountain, and watches over areas of the city such as The Plateau, Mile End and Rosemont. However, there’s a lesser known one at the very top Westmont which overlooks the Southwest of the city, and unlike the other two which are crowded with people, this one is like a well kept secret, but no less impressive.

There’s quite a climb to the top, but these secret stairs which seem to go on forever
cut a swathe through the zig-zagging roads of Westmount.
I think this is the highest point in the area, so of course they’re going to put a transmitter mast on it.
How else will all the Montrealers receive their hockey matches? Oh, wait…
You could almost see the city below, if it wasn’t for the trees and houses.
Thankfully in Montreal, wherever there’s the opportunity for a breathtaking view, there’s a lookout. Want to see distant mountains and one of the biggest rivers in the world stretched out before you? Westmount has you covered.
Looking East towards the city centre. You can see the cluster of skyscrapers over to the right.
Looking South towards the St Lawrence River and the South-East Island.
A closer look at Westmount Square and the Atwater area at the edge of the City Centre.
Marilou poses with her city.

I had a try at producing a panorama of the view. Click the above image to see it!

Montreal got rather rainy by the time we’d made our way back down the mountain. Here’s a photo looking out towards the city centre from Côte-des-Neiges.
Finally, here’s a photo of me taking a photo.
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